Submitted by Columnist Sarah Hudson Pierce
Henry David Thoreau, born in 1817 and the author of Walden’s Pond, said “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
He learned a great truth desperately needed today. He went apart alone to stay in a log cabin by himself for a year or so. The tiny house is located by what is known as Walden’s Pond, located at Concord, Massachusetts.
I’ve been fortunate to spend time inside the replica of the cabin while visiting my oldest son, Perry, who lives near Boston.
Anyway it is a beautiful, peaceful setting.
The cabin is furnished as it was back then with only a small bed, a stove, a table and a couple of chairs.
I’m caught up with simplicity when I ponder how much creative time is wasted in the pursuit of getting more and more yet never satisfying the yearning deep within.
From my understanding he only took with him one rock and threw it away because of the time it took to dust it off and put it back in place.
Absurd? Perhaps that is a bit extreme but it’s teaching a valuable lesson we should heed today.
I have quipped a few times that I think some solitude in the woods with no media would be beneficial to troubled teens who are always hooked up to background noise.
Why are we so scared to hear ourselves think?
I do not know but I sense it takes a lifetime of practice of going apart, of getting into touch with ourselves, to hear our own thoughts but it’s in this space that we grow and become all we can become!
We must simplify lest we become lost in our pursuits.
I suspect that the reason many creative person produce less is they spread themselves much too thin. We must focus on our talents — not put too many irons in the fire or we will be robbed of our quality time, preventing ourselves from centering down, getting into tune with ourselves.
We must hone our talents, sharpen our skills, polish our gift or we will become rusty in our crafts.
To become focused we must simplify or we will burn our energy.
We must look not to one side or backward in regret at lost opportunities, lest we become scattered and never achieve our dream. If we try to do all things equally well we won’t become all that we can be. Our creativity will be lost in the mundane things in life, of keeping our bodies fed, of caring for our grounds, of making our house a showcase.
If we leave our own small gift to take care of itself it will die!
To be gifted we must work at our talents daily and make our field of endeavor our focal point, our obsession. In return we will then make a meaningful contribution to those we touch. It won’t come easily.
If we remain unfocused we will become frenetic in keeping the pace with those who are lackadaisical, not inner directed, thus cheating ourselves in return
Of course I know that we aren’t all made alike but I believe we all have at least one talent and that it more fun to make it grow than to die in despair besides after an emotional loss that gift can become our therapeutic tool to get us to the other side.
If we cheat ourselves we will become cynical and critical of those who achieve. If we look around and compare our lack of accomplishment with others who have accomplished what we could have done and feel deep regret unaware that God gives us all at least one small talent and we can either use it or die in despair.